How to Overcome Anxious Attachment in Your Romantic Relationships
Anxious Attachment Disorder
Akua has been in a relationship with Kwabena, a wonderful man who loves her dearly, for about three years. He treats her well. Kwabena is a faithful guy. And yet Akua constantly feels he will leave her for another woman. He has re-assured her of his love for her many times and yet she still feels he is not happy in the relationship. Akua has anxious attachment disorder. This disorder can create serious problems in a relationship.
How then do you overcome anxious attachment in your romantic relationship(s) so that it does not create confusion and hurt your chances of finding happiness with the person you love?
Identify the Root Cause of the Problem
Anxious attachment style can occur because you are afraid of something that happened to you in the past, or because you fear that someone will steal your lover away from you.
For example, you may be feeling anxious about your relationship today because you lost a lover to another person when you were younger and you see the circumstances that led to a break up of that relationship playing again in this new relationship. As a result, you are not confident about the stability of your present relationship, although everything is going fine.
Therefore, do introspection. Checkout to see if you are feeling anxious now because of a past traumatic relationship experience.
If you are, then remind yourself that whatever you went through is history. Say something such as this to yourself, “It is past. That relationship is dead and buried. I am in this relationship, now. This one will not end up like that one. This relationship will work.” It will help you to face the reality of today and make you feel positive about your current relationship, instead of imagining the worst.
Deal with Your Fears
Normally, it is fear of losing your lover or spouse that causes anxious attachment. When you identify the fear and confront it, it will help you to face the facts, you will take steps to control your feelings, and as a result you will feel less anxious about your relationship.
Here are a few ways you can deal with fear:
- Think about the worst thing that can happen to you, which is that your relationship may break up. Then think to yourself, “If that happens, and so what! It will not be the end of the world? I will go on living and I will find another person to love me.” When you free yourself mentally from the fear of being disappointed this way, you will feel calmer and more relaxed.
- Recall the moments in your relationship when things have been great. Meditate on it for some time and then say to yourself, “Things are not as bad as I am imagining. This relationship has been wonderful before. And I will do whatever it takes to help make it a continuing success.”
- When your partner or spouse does not show you affection, just think to yourself, “It is okay. There is nothing wrong with him. And there is nothing wrong with me. I do not need to worry. I do not need to be shown affection all the time. I can handle it.”
- Read Isaiah 41v 10 in the Bible which says, “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Memorize it and quote it to yourself whenever fear starts building up in you or when fearful, negative thoughts about your romantic relationship come to your mind. Let it give you courage that God is with you and will help you to overcome the anxious attachment. Memorizing the verse will also help you to strengthen your inner man, your spirit, and make you feel confident about yourself and the relationship.
- Learn to love God and remind yourself of His love for you every day. When you consider that God loves you and sincerely wants you to experience love through your relationship, you will no longer fear that you will lose your partner for you will remind yourself that He will help you to keep your partner.
Have Self Confidence
Believe in yourself. In addition, believe that you are also handsome or beautiful. Think to yourself that no one can be a better lover or spouse to your partner. This will make you feel positive about yourself which will help you to relate better to your partner. As a result, your connection as a couple will be strengthened, your relationship will grow stronger, and that will drive away your fears and anxieties.
Here are ways in which you can feel confident about yourself:
- Every day, say to yourself, “I am a great man (or woman). I am a great lover. I am the person who can make my partner happy. I am also smart, intelligent. My lover loves me and I love him.”
- Write down about 20 things you like about your body. When your self-esteem is low, take out the list and read it aloud to yourself. Keep reading it till positive thoughts fill your mind and make you feel that you are a wonderful person.
- Write down 20 things you like about your character. Mention them to yourself when anxieties about the relationship start coming into your mind. It will make you feel good about yourself and you will be more relaxed as a result.
- Think about the positive ways you have impacted on the relationship, often. For example, if your girlfriend or your wife has gone to college because of your encouragement and support, write it down. If your boyfriend or your husband has been promoted at work because of the financial help you give him, write it down. Keep on writing these kind acts till you have about 30 good ways you have been a blessing to your lover. It will make you feel that you are also an influencer and you will feel good about yourself.
- Think about all the words of love your partner or spouse has said to you. Let them remind you that your partner loves you and so you are secure in the relationship.
Deal with Self Doubts
Believe that you are still relevant to your lover and to the relationship. Furthermore, ask your lover or spouse whether they love you, regularly. When he or she says they do, take them at their word and let it help you to put your mind at rest.
Then, whenever you feel your self- esteem is dipping again and you start getting depressed, just say to yourself, “Isaac confirmed that he loves me. I believe he does. I am loved. I am a desirable woman. No one can steal Isaac away from me. Isaac loves me, and that is that!” Then enjoy some walnuts or a chicken thigh so that you can combat the depression.
Learn to Be Independent
Learning to live an independent life will help you to focus on yourself and your identity so that you can affirm your individuality in the relationship or marriage.
How can you be independent?
- Refrain from calling or texting your lover or spouse when you go to work, unless it is an emergency. Think entirely about yourself , your vision for your life, and your career aspirations, when you are in the office.
- Refrain from logging onto your partner’s Facebook page, reading his text messages, or going through the call history of his cell phone. Instead, engage yourself in your hobbies alone during your leisure time.
- Spend weekends with your work colleagues or schoolmates without your partner. It will help you to develop your ties with others so that you can weaken your attachment to your lover or spouse.
- Build your capacity to be independent by living for a period of time away from your partner or spouse. For example, you may decide to take a trip to a foreign country alone during the summer holidays. Or travel to a poor country and volunteer there for the whole period. It will help you to gain the confidence that you are an independent person who can live away from your lover without feeling anxious. It will also help you to value yourself as an individual who is not dependent on his lover.
Affirming Your Individuality
Do you think you can learn to be independent of your lover?
Think That You Are Secure in Your Relationship
Banish all thoughts of insecurity from your mind. Rather, say to yourself often that your relationship is secure and will be secure forever. Say to yourself often, “There is nothing to worry about in this relationship. My partner loves me and adores me. I have no competitors. No one is challenging me for the affection of my lover. This relationship is strong and will be strong till eternity.” It will help to reduce your insecurity about your relationship so that you will feel troubled.
Read God’s commandment in Philippians 4v 4–7 of the Bible. Then obey those words by requesting God to give you peace of mind and calmness of heart. You may pray a prayer such as, “Dear God, for no reason I am insecure about my relationship. I try to be confident about my relationship with Isaac but I still have fears and worries in my heart. Lord, I want to give this burden to You. Please help me to overcome this anxious preoccupied attachment. Give me peace of mind. Let my spirit be at peace with the circumstances. And help me to feel secure about myself and the relationship. Amen.”
Keep on praying and thinking positive thoughts and God will honor your prayer and release you from the psychological and emotional bondage that you are in because of those negative thoughts and feelings.
Seek Medical Advice
Mikulincer and Shaver reviewed clinical and non-clinical samples on attachment in adults and found out that anxious attachment disorder is common in people who have a variety of diseases, ranging from mild distress to schizophrenia.
Therefore, if you have tried unsuccessfully to deal with the problem yourself and you are still having challenges, see your doctor and talk things over with him so that he can investigate further and determine whether you need medical assistance.
To overcome anxious attachment in your romantic relationship(s), get to the root of the problem and deal with your inner fears. In addition, work on your confidence and see yourself as belonging to a secure relationship.
How to Overcome Anxious Attachment in Your Relationships
Do you think you are secure in your romantic relationship?
© 2017 Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio